Weekly Feature

2017-08-17 / Sports

Senior MOGs claim fifth consecutive 60+ title

Glory Days Softball

The Senior Mostly Old Guys recently won their fifth consecutive Glory Days Softball League 60+ Championship via their hard-fought 4-3 victory over the Tigers.

The Tigers started things off in the first with a run-scoring double by Tony Rusinek. The Senior MOGs answered with one of their own in the bottom of the first before pulling ahead in the third on a two-run home run by Playoff MVP shortstop Leo Noe (East Amherst).

The Tigers answered with two runs in the fourth to make it a 3-3 game, but the Senior MOGs went ahead for good on what would be the game-winning hit by pitcher Bob Richter (West Seneca) in the bottom of the sixth.

Noe made numerous clutch defensive plays in the game, including an unassisted double play in the seventh. Dave Weinman also made a throw from left center field to nail a Tiger runner at third base to kill a rally in the fifth.

Rick Walters led the way for the Tigers offensively, going 3-for-3. Dan Rozanski and Larry Wisher had two hits each, while Rusniek hit a long double to score his team’s first run. Wisher also had a clutch hit in the fourth to tie the score at 3-3.

Rusinek pitched and fielded a strong game and the Tigers played tough in the loss.

The second annual 60+ Division All-Star Game was played Wednesday, with players from the Senior MOGs and the Comfort Funeral Home Sr. Cubs taking on players from the Old Bats and the Tigers. Information about that contest was not available at press time, however.

Meanwhile, after a tough end to the regular season that saw more games cancelled due to the weather than played, the 50+ Division teams finally got their return day under the sun Thursday with the first round of playoff action.

The Wallenweins Dudas got all they could handle from a determined Comfort Window Panes team before scratching out a 6-5 decision in one of the division’s contests.

Neither team scored in the first two innings of the defensive battle, but in the top of the third, the Panes struck for three runs on hits by Rich McGilvray, Jim Navagh, Ronny Learn, Tom Urbanski, Joe Wahl and Bob Kurowski. The damage could have been worse, but Dudas pitcher Ricky Edwards induced a bases-loaded inning-ending fly out.

The Dudas tied it up in the bottom of the fourth by scoring three runs of their own thanks to singles by Jeff Souder and Joe Shanahan, as well as a triple by Sam Cullis. Cullis subsequently scored on a double by Jeff Van Remmen.

The Panes broke the tie in the top of the sixth by adding two more runs to their count. Hits by Urbanski and Kurowski, a walk to Learn and a couple of Dudas fielding errors accounted for the scoring.

The Dudas answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame as Shanahan singled, Cullis walked and Edwards singled to load the bases with one out. Shanahan then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dan Bermingham to leave the Panes on top by a 5-4 count going into the seventh inning.

After holding the Panes scoreless in the top of the seventh, Greg Hunt led off the bottom of the frame with a single to center for the Dudas, followed by a line drive single by John Cimperman. With one out, Souder lined a single to left center to load the bases. Shanahan then collected his second hit of the night, driving in Hunt with the tying run.

With the bases still loaded, Cullis hit a fly ball to left center and Cimperman raced home with the winning run.

The Tombstone Saloon also beat the MOGs, 12-4, behind the solid defensive play that was spearheaded by outfielders Jim Langes and Joe Tighe. Don Seider and John Hulslander combined to pitch a strong game as well, while the offense was led by Mark Brinkel’s 4-for-4 night with four RBIs. Pete Yuhas added three hits, while Ron Westfall, Tom Tighe and Dave Dorr (three runs) all had two hits each.

The MOGs had several solid defensive plays as well, made by both their shortstop and left fielder.

In another contest, the Northeast Collision Americans toppled Bobby J’s, 11-7, in a game in South Wales.

The Americans started the game with two runs in the first thanks to a walk and hits by Harry Louth, Jeff Benz and Dave Corbelli. Bobby J’s answered right back with two of its own behind hits by Paul Young, Paul Batt and Kevin Mann.

The second inning started with another walk and hits by Duane Carr and Boris Kuvshinoff. Bobby J’s was then held scoreless the second through fourth innings while the Americans scored twice in the third behind hits by Ken Struck, Jeff Benz, Rick Dekay and Jeff Giandonis.

The Americans scored five runs in the fifth inning with hits by Benz, Louth, Corbelli, Dekay, Tony Rosniak, Carr, Paul Felser and Kuvshinoff. Bobby J’s battled back with three of its own thanks to a walk and hits by Guy Muto, Batt and Mann.

The Americans finished their scoring with hits by Struck, Benz, Corbelli and Dekay, along with a sacrifice fly by Louth.

The comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning — with one run scored and runners on base — ended via a line-drive catch by Corbelli and an over-the-head catch by Giandonis.

For the second time in as many years, the West Herr Knights met the Comfort Funeral Home Cubs in the first round of the playoffs. The Knights took the lead in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs on five hits, and then added another four runs in the second inning on six hits for an 8-0 lead.

The Cubs scored two runs in the fourth inning on four hits but the Knights came back with another three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning for a final score of 11-2.

Rick Wells had a perfect night at the plate for the Knights, going 4-for-4 with an RBI. Jerry O’Brien went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, while Kevin Larson was 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Kevin O’Brien added a 2-for-3 day with two RBIs to help winning pitcher Mike Hallinan’s cause.

For the Cubs, cleanup hitter Gary Glynn had a 3-for-3 evening, followed by Gary Pacioni’s 2-for-3 night.

This week’s semifinal round of 50+ Division playoff action will see the Dudas face the Americans at Westfalls Diamond Two, and the Knights squaring off with Tombstone Saloon at Westfalls Diamond One. Both games will be played at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The winners of each contest will advance to the championship game, which will be played at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, on the diamond of the highest remaining seed’s choice.

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